Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace

F1 Fanatic round-up

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Ross Brawn says the W04 has good one-lap pace but needs to improve its performance over a race stint.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Brawn: Mercedes not there yet (Sky)

“It’s not down to one lap. What we have to have is a car that is fastest over 50-odd laps, and that’s the challenge.”

Bernie confirms Long Beach talks (ESPN)

“We are not in deep discussions with Long Beach but we have spoken to them.”

Horner denies Marko is a hindrance (Autosport)

“Helmut has responsibilities elsewhere with the young-driver programme but he has no operational responsibility or input into how we operate as a racing team. He’s an advisor to Dietrich [Mateschitz], and he’s obviously an experienced hand.”

Back to Spain (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “The wins at Barcelona in 2006, Monza in 2010 and Valencia last year are unquestionably the races that have given me the best emotions of my career.”

James Calado taken on by Massa?s manager (James Allen on F1)

“Rising star James Calado?s chances of making the move up to Formula 1 have been boosted by a deal to be managed by Nicolas Todt, whose All Road Management group manages Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi.”

Racing “DNA”… Diversity Needs Acceptance (The Buxton Blog)

“If we are discussing why there haven?t been more women racers in F1, I started to wonder why we haven?t yet, at least to my knowledge, encountered many, if any openly gay racing drivers in our field?”


Comment of the day

If F1 does end up back at Long Beach, @Atticus-2 hopes they don’t spoil the track:

I think the organisers did a tremendous job in 1999 and 2000, when they last altered the layout. I identify four “points of interest” on the original, much loved layout, plus one on the current one. I think the original course was loved principally because of the following:
?ǣ The iconic hairpins at either ends of Shoreline Drive;
?ǣ Original turn two (now turn six), a wide, surprisingly quick, increasing radius and slightly uphill left-hander;
?ǣ The wild elevation change of about 8-11m when they climbed the hill going straight instead of turning right to East Seaside Way and their subsequent intense drop at Cook?s corner;
?ǣ The quick, douple-apex penultimate corner.

On the current layout, my guess is that the fountain in the roundabout already gained legendary status as scenery despite its relatively young age as part of the track.

What I really liked about the 1999-2000 changes was how the organisers brought back two of the four aforementioned points plus how they introduced the new one.

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On this day in F1

Patrick Tambay won the San Marino Grand Prix after Riccardo Patrese crashed out of the lead moments after overtaking him:

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95 comments on Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace

  1. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 1st May 2013, 0:07

    F1 coming back to Long Beach is, for once, a location I would welcome very much! Who cares about Russia, Mexico, South Africa or Thailand?

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st May 2013, 10:12

      @wallbreaker I care very much about the former two as Russia is the largest country in the world (so F1 is right to try and establish itself there) and Mexico has a racing heritage, with two of it’s drivers currently racing. Also, if they do indeed race on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez it is a very good track, with a prime location in the heart of Mexcio City, one of the most populous cities in the world.

      Even South Africa would be okay but agreed Thailand I couldn’t give a toss about! Nor Qatar or Bahrain or to a lesser extent Abu Dhabi, countries that lack racing heritage and a major fanbase. It’s all about the money though…

      • Russia is only biggest by land area, and 99% of that is empty.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st May 2013, 11:40

          @ajokay of course, but it still has a large population and is a global superpower. @coefficient I think you’re still living in the 1940’s mate!

          • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 1st May 2013, 13:18

            The economical potential of Russia is often largely overestimated. Exactly because of its historical influence in the region (as Soviet Union mostly) and some arrogant loud-mouthed individuals with “old” money.

            To compare countries like Russia with emerging Asian countries is ignorant at best. Even the size of markets of individual Western countries (Germany, France etc.) are much bigger than that of Russia.
            But the size of markets it emerging Asian countries, India and China to name the biggest two, are much bigger still. Many of their neighbors have even bigger markets when compered to the size of population. And the most important thing, they are growing at a wast rate, while the old markets are not.

            The same simultaneous sub-continental economic growth could happen in Africa, and many are predicting, as the evidence suggests, that it will.

            What this means? This means that most of the Asia is already caught up with the western world (in terms of economy, technology, quality of life and so on). And some are even already surpassed that standards set by the West. Don’t forget that USA is constantly borrowing money from China, the country that has grown its technology and economy at the speed of sound in recent decades or years even.

            So I would say your views are not just ignorant and non informed, but ill-informed with preconceived ideas.
            Here is a good conciseness raiser about how the world looks (Note that the speech is from 2006, and Asia has not stood still in the years that has fallowed):

            Just because you have been born and raised in your bubble, does not mean there are not much more individuals who like to watch racing or take part in it elsewhere in the world, to whom you can not relate, because of your ignorance.

            Sure, I can not dismiss the point, that a certain sport should not go to certain places because one does not care about them, but if so, do not call it a world championship or a pinnacle of anything.

            If F1 would have stayed on only the historic tracks, it would have or would become exactly that, another type of historic racing series, with few spectators, and no real innovation or large sponsorship.

            As a fan of Motorsport, I would not be against such series, but all children are not equal. I would most enjoy and pay attention (almost only) to the racing series that would have or would replace F1 as the global, ultimate, fastest circuit racers.

          • Alec Glen (@alec-glen) said on 1st May 2013, 14:19

            @Max Jacobson Global superpower? I think you’re still living in the 80s mate! ;)

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st May 2013, 22:47

            @alec-glen I wasn’t living in the 80’s mate, I was born in the 90’s! ;)

            @mateuss irrespective of the fact growing markets (which have F1 races themselves) in China and India have easily surpassed Russia at this point in time, that does not mean the quality of life in those countries is better.

            By “developed” I mean a country with economic power absolutely, but they have to have a high living standard also which is a far cry from what India and China are at the moment. In that sense, I would still say the west is ahead.

            That’s not really why I think countries should have races though, I think it should be down to motorsport heritage. Does anybody have any ideas if Russia has any sort of F1 following?

          • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 2nd May 2013, 14:06

            @vettel1 That is a false logic. Every single person in one country does not live in the same conditions. There are more people living in high standards of life quality in China than there is almost anywhere else (just because of the overall population size), yes, reasonable percentage of people still live in villages and of those many do not enjoy high living standards, but the percentage of those people have shrunken at the unprecedented rates that is what growth means. Go visit and travel across China, before you make assumptions based on single story of nation of one billion people.

            A girl from South Africa(I think) went to study to the USA in one of the big universities there. One of her professors had read a book about a mean who beats his wife written by an author from the same country as she is. He said to her something along the lines:”Isn’t it a shame that African men beat their wife s?” This of course is a stupid assumption so she retorted “I just read the American Psycho, Isn’t it a shame that all young American men are serial killers?”

            Don’t make the same mistake by basing your opinion of billions of Asian people based on “one story” you have heard and seen.

          • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 2nd May 2013, 14:09

            I do apologize for my incoherent language :/

            If there only were an edit button.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd May 2013, 16:01

            @mateuss I’m not basing this assertion on some isolated story, I am basing it on the United Nations Human Development Index, in which Russia ranks 55th and China only 101st, India only 136th (link).

            They absolutely have greater riches and larger economies, but the basic quality of life is lower in both of them than Russia and so I consider them less developed.

            Anyway, this is a wild tangent from the initial point that F1 is better to establish itself in Russia than a lot of other places in the world, in which I include Thailand and Bahrain. That said though, I did also ask the question of what Russia’s F1 following is like, considering Vitaly Petrov was their first driver…

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 1st May 2013, 18:32

      I care about South Africa! Living in Angola, South Africa is 3 days away by car (terrific trip, by the way) and 3 hours by flight!

    • Angelia (@angelia) said on 1st May 2013, 21:13

      South Africa has a lot of F1 fans, and it does have a historic F1 connection.

    • Martin Fuhs (@chapor) said on 2nd May 2013, 7:57

      I care about South Africa. I live in Namibia and it would be nice having a more accessible GP to go to. We have a lot of F1 fans here and we would love to be able to see a race live instead of just on the tv. Which we never received free on air I might add…

  2. thatscienceguy said on 1st May 2013, 0:38

    Long Beach is only 3.2km in its current form. Is there a mininmum track length for FIA Grade 1 certification? If so, expect it to be altered considerably….

  3. F1_Dave said on 1st May 2013, 1:21

    i hope f1 stays away from long beach!

    i’ve been going to the cart/champcar & now indycar races there since 1991. Tickets prices have always been reasonable & the fan access to the teams/drivers second to none & more importantly i’ve always had a blast at each race & seen some great racing.

    f1 would bring higher prices & restricted fan access, not to mention they would almost certainly butcher the track to make it ‘suitable’ for f1.

  4. What Brawn says is just so obvious. I don’t know why that car turns out to be so good in qualifying , just to have lots of problems in the race.
    Looks like Mercedes bosses don’t know what’s wrong either.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 1st May 2013, 1:30

      pipe and slippers for Sherlock Brawn

      • William Katz (@hwkii) said on 1st May 2013, 2:22

        I came here just to post “In other news, Ross Brawn has determined that water is wet, the sky is blue and the reason “only on days that end in Y” is funny is because they all do.” i.e, stuff that’s been obvious to the rest of us for years.

        • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 1st May 2013, 6:24

          years? so you thought at the end of 2012 the whole of 2011 and 2010 that mercedes had good qualifying pace?

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 1st May 2013, 2:32

      @omarr-pepper well what I’ve read is that Mercedes have a clever (but tricky) interconnected suspension, that basically keeps the car more leveled when braking and turning, thus affecting less the aerodynamics of the car.

      But at the expense of a much smaller setup window because is not as easy as just changing some springs and dampers like in a normal car. Obviously the car tends to heat the tyres faster which is good for one quick lap but not over 10 or 15.

    • JimG (@jimg) said on 1st May 2013, 9:55

      Yes it’s obvious, but it’s also obviously an answer to an interview question. Why do people get so upset with the interviewee instead of the interviewer? I can imagine that Ross Brawn is getting pretty fed up with being asked the same questions over and over.

  5. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st May 2013, 1:43

    why we haven’t yet, at least to my knowledge, encountered many, if any openly gay racing drivers in our field?

    I’m starting to wonder about Lewis and Nando!

    Jokes aside, different people are … different. I know quite a few gays, and they’re not big into competitive sports.

    • Justin (@thejwooly) said on 1st May 2013, 2:05

      Carefully consider what you just said. That last part….as surely if I’m on this site I am into competitive sports.

    • William Katz (@hwkii) said on 1st May 2013, 2:23

      I do not think that word means what you think it means… lol

    • MW (@) said on 1st May 2013, 12:08

      Actually it seems like todays brand of F1 would lend itself well to the stereotypical homosexual male. Good communicators, sensitive touch, good multitaskers.. Especially in comparison to the more burly men required to wrestle a death trap around the track, depending on pure balls and determination back in the 50s say..
      Possibly a gross generalization on both counts (gays and F1) but I do see a trend. Perhaps this also explains Moss’s comments, he comes from a different sport not suitable for women or even the more sensitive man.

      • Traverse (@) said on 1st May 2013, 12:33

        That is too assume that gay men are limp wristed and afraid of spiders, whilst straight men are burly, Bear eating, Alligator wrestling warriors. An assumption which is clearly not based entirely on reality.

        • MW (@) said on 1st May 2013, 13:04

          @hellotraverse I did say it was a “gross generalization”. I didn’t say that gay men were “limp wristed and afraid of spiders”. I was just pointing to the fact that F1 now requires a different skill set. If there was a spectrum covering attributes held by a stereotypical gay man and a stereotypical straight man, the skillset required would be shifting towards that of the stereotypical gay man IMO.
          I don’t think I’m not being non- PC in saying this as I’m stating that these are stereotypes which may weaken the argument but still suggests a trend.
          For the record I like the class of driver required today and would welcome anyone capable of driving fast to join the sport no matter what sex, sexuality, race etc.

    • Traverse (@) said on 1st May 2013, 12:23

      Lewis definitely enjoyed spraying Graham Norton with *ahem* “Champagne” on his chat show last week…just saying ;)

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 1st May 2013, 18:36

      Britney Spears?

      [Wait, who cares?]

  6. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st May 2013, 1:50

    Seems like a ludicrously loaded question to even ask Horner if Marko is a “hindrance”.

    Can you imagine a reporter asking Horner if Webber is a hindrance, and then reporting “Horner denies Webber is a hindrance”?

  7. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 1st May 2013, 1:51

    I don’t get how you can have all those brains and resources and still design a car that lunches it’s tyres.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 1st May 2013, 3:35


    • Alec Glen (@alec-glen) said on 1st May 2013, 14:43

      All the cars lunch their tyres, the key thing is how much perfomance they can get compared to lunching them. Clearly Merc get lots of performance whilst lunching them whereas Red Bull can get slightly less performance whilst only snacking on rubber.

      Maybe for them it’s about setup windows, they’re likely setting their car up to get performance despite races being completed at GP2 pace, Red Bull clearly think there’s more performance in their car which they’re not being allowed to extract as they’re compromising their setup to minimise tyre wear.

  8. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 1st May 2013, 2:18

    @Will Buxton, Does that go for F1 journalist as well?

    Wait a minute… there was Jean Girard! ;)

  9. William Katz (@hwkii) said on 1st May 2013, 2:33

    On This Day in F1 surprisingly didn’t include Roland Ratzenberger’s death at Imola in 1994, which I am fairly certain was today. Tomorrow… well…

  10. Abdurahman (@) said on 1st May 2013, 3:01

    To the COTD, yeah, but what about what I thought was the most iconic corner besides the end of straight hairpin. What happened to the downhill right left where the cars would be on full opposite lock over the crest??

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 1st May 2013, 8:42

      I believe that would be Cook’s corner I mentioned. At least the downhill right-hander. One of the point (of the two) which is still missing.

      It situates north of the current back straight at the end of the Ocean Blvd. From the track’s inception in 1975 to 1981, the cars would not turn right to East Seaside Way as they do now, but head straight on, up a hill and then turn right to Ocean Blvd. Obviously, at the end of that straight they had to descend, and they did so near nowaday’s T9 with the downhill right-left flick you mentioned.

      It was reeally challenging, I’d like to see it back. What gives me hope – besides the persistent rumours and Bernie’s sort of confirmation of initial talks – is how smart the organisers were with the latest modifications – if you check maps of the course, it deviated considerably from the original concept; it was almost totally different in the 1980s and the 1990s.

      I don’t usually like street tracks, I think they could easily become just a couple of 90-degree corners, but I checked out this year’s IndyCar and ALMS races at Long Beach and the track became an instant favourite for me.

  11. Kimi4WDC said on 1st May 2013, 3:05

    That cut from Buxton’s blog is just shows the ridicule of our current society. Sorry, I did not read his whole peace, I get frustrated with humanity just thinking about the topic.

    I understand, that certain people plainly lack knowledge and experience for some things to be obvious (or to get to a certain conclusions) to them, but when it’s that type of people and their narrow minded pre-sets that navigate public opinion, it’s just sad.

    Apart from apparent lack of statistical representation of women/gay/aliens etc… that GREATLY squash any chance of having representation of “such kind” in F1, there are no barriers that hinder that persons way into F1. There is actually is a GREATER chance for such person to enter F1 due to lack of representation and all the marketing circus demand if one poses the appropriate level of skill behind the F1 car.

    Why it winds me up? Well, do you think it’s only Vettel’s dad who had to fully commit to his son’s racing to give him a shot. Or it’s just Raikkonen’s family who had to work together for their son to get a chance to show his qualities? What about Hamilton? There are ten of thousands of families who go through such and greater sacrifices, but just very few go all the way.

    The topic of discussion should not be “Why there no woman/gay/whatever in F1″, it’s a from ground up issue. One gets go-kart at age of five, other a barbie doll. Now how many parents will choose to gift their daughter a go-kart at five instead of cute dress or a doll? Same reason why most boys get a gun as present rather than chemistry kit or a telescope.

    This is out of control really, here in Australia there is a 50% quota on how many female representative there should be in certain departments of mining Corporations, with enrolment for that degree ratio one girl for every boy. Go figure.

    ps. sorry for rant.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 1st May 2013, 3:09

      *with enrolment ratio for that degree one girl for every 10 boys.

    • I Love the Pope said on 1st May 2013, 3:24


    • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st May 2013, 4:34

      Actually is quite the point you are making. In my country new legislation says there has to be 1 to 1 ratio of women on public charges, but heck, why a woman should get to ocuppy a public charge just because is a woman? She should be there because she is capable of doing good for the ountry

      In order to be equals I shouldn´t be reminded every two days that there is no woman in F1, if a woman gets there should be because she deserve ir, not because Saba wants to sponsor Sauber.

      As for gay drivers, WHY WOULD I CARE who a driver is dating? I understand why some figure public need to come out, but I believe that everything it shouldn´t made a different because at the end of the day what it matters is results and talent, not that is gay, woman, black, white, chinese or alien.

      Having said that I believe Paul Di Resta is doing great representing the robot population :P

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st May 2013, 7:04

      Im getting pretty tired of this whole equality thing. We dont have a problem with it so I do wish people would stop banging on about it.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 1st May 2013, 9:32

      It’s a modern day issue that many sportsmen and women have to ‘come out publicly’ because a) there are many close-minded nations, some of which berate homosexuality and/or condemn it and b) there are PR considerations.

      Would a top ‘insert sport here’ team pick an openly gay athelete regardless of talent if it just means all the articles written about said driver reference the fact, draw attention to it and attract flamebait from the dregs of human society who are (fundamentally) scared of it?

      Sportsmen and women who consider themselves LGBT are basically forced to remain in the closet for their careers – the majority who come out are either at the end of their careers (as I understand Jason Collins is) or Gareth Thomas, who was a national rugby player (and you don’t argue with rugby players).

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 1st May 2013, 12:43

      In the long run, forcing equality will not work. But stereotypes and paradigms aren’t broken by things remaining the same and sometimes have to be forced.

      Surely you can question ‘why would you pick ‘x’ over a someone who happens to be a white male’, but in a lot of fields diversity has been ‘forced’ into the workplace and usually took a couple of years to really reap the benefits. As much as we might be open to a lesbian muslim feminist entering F1 and being successful, she might not think of F1 as being a place for her. Sometimes, all it takes is a single rolemodel to open the floodgates for others.

      I’m not at all saying driver quality should be overlooked, but we might have to sacrifice some positions to female, homosexual, whatever kind of driver who might be less skilled than their white male counterparts, and end up with those people inspiring more people to go into racing.

      As always, I’m going to mention Beitske Visser. She won a race at Zandvoort in Formel ADAC with a broken back and she finished in the points at Hockenheim with a broken wrist. She’s been picked up by Red Bull, and virtually everyone who’s into karting in the Netherlands regards her, Nyck de Vries and Max Verstappen as our biggest talents. She defeated the boys, she has shown to be tough and has shown to be able to race and win. That’s the kind of female driver we need, but they’re rare as of now.

      I think that, all it takes will be one or two successful female drivers in F1 for sponsors to open up to them, for parents to consider karting as a sport for their young girls, etc. The Netherlands for instance had F1 drivers before, but Jos Verstappen basically inspired a whole generation of drivers who might have never surpassed FR2.0 or 3.5, with Giedo van der Garde as a notable exception. Jos Verstappen was a national hero, but Christiaan Albers and Robert Doornbos never has the same effect. If a successful female driver would have the same effect on F1 fans and their daughters, we’d see a major shift in a few years in karting and lower categories.

  12. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 1st May 2013, 7:39

    Good to see Calado get backing from Nicolas Todt. He joins Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Jules Bianchi, Alex Baron(Formula Renault 2.0) and Charles Leclerc(karting) in the All Road Management squad.

    In related news, 2011 Formula Renault UK champion and lat year’s Macau GP 3rd place-finisher Alex Lynn has managed to get backing from Alexander Wurz’s management company. Lynn finished 4th in last year’s British F3, and this year is in European F3 with Prema. I know it is early days, but I hope Wurz’s involvement leads to a Williams test or something.

  13. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 1st May 2013, 7:57

    That was a truly great drive by Rosberg at Monaco

  14. IDR (@idr) said on 1st May 2013, 7:58

    On this day in F1, the best of the bests dies in a terrible accident in Imola.

    • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 1st May 2013, 9:07

      That’s a relative question.
      He for sure branded a generation with he’s driving skills, with he’s personality inside and outside the tracks.
      Senna was for me the reason why i started watching F1. Saw great fights between Ayrton, Prost, Piquet, Mansel, Schumacher etc…
      Remember he’s off tracks fights with Balastre.
      And have in mind is most perfect lap, at Donigton Park when with rain he came’s from 5th to 1st in one lap.
      I miss you Senna, we all do in general.

  15. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 1st May 2013, 8:29

    Wow, thank you very very much for the COTD, @keithcollantine, I didn’t expect it, so it’s kind of surprising. Also, it is my first one, so this is a great feeling.

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